CARSON, Calif. – The last time that the LA Galaxy took on Real Salt Lake on June 20 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, the two teams were on the opposite end of the Western Conference spectrum.
The LA Galaxy were a dismal 4-8-2, sitting near the bottom of the Western Conference while Real Salt Lake 10-3-2 perched atop the West ahead of the then-second place San Jose Earthquakes.
The match started poorly enough for LA as the game was delayed for 15 minutes because the Galaxy team bus was stuck in Salt Lake City gridlock, but it would get worse once the opening whistle was sounded. Within 25 minutes, goals from Kyle Beckerman and Alvaro Saborío saw RSL take a 2-0 lead on the Galaxy.
Although things had taken a turn for the worse, LA would pull one back in the 29th minute on a brilliant individual effort from Landon Donovan, who capitalized on a Salt Lake defensive gaff. Following his goal, Donovan shouted at his teammates seemingly signaling that the time for a comeback was now. They immediately responded. LA would tally two more goals in the second half from Mike Magee and Donovan as LA roared back to earn a valuable three points at the RioT.
Now heading into the MLS Regular Season’s final week, the Real Salt Lake sit two points ahead of the Galaxy in the chase for second place in the West. As the Galaxy reflect on their season ahead of Saturday’s match against RSL at The Home Depot Center, there is no doubt that June’s clash was a turning point for the Galaxy.
BECKHAM: “I think it brought us together. Going there is always a difficult place to go so going there and being 2-0 down and winning the game 3-2 was a big thing for us.”
DONOVAN: “I think that it gave us come belief to go down there and get a result after being down 2-0. It’s a big feat and what really helps is that if we play them in the playoffs, we have the belief that we can go down there and do it again so that’s good.”